Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Viking Shore; Part 1 - Longship

 

Hello All,

In this post I build a 28mm (ish) Viking Longship.  All good Vikings need a longship.  Which means until now all my Vikings have been quite lame.




I'm stuck in the Dark Ages, but it's a good kind of stuck you know?  Like when something is stuck in your teeth but it tastes good.  

I wanted to expand my dark ages collection but did not want to paint miniatures.  Painting miniatures is boooooring.  Decided to do something different and build this ship that I've had lying around for a few months.  It took way longer to do than expected; due to my lack of time and poor modelling skills.  The object is not to have the ship sail around carrying miniatures but to sit on a coast looking like a really cool piece of terrain.  A little Dark Ages scenery magic that will get some oohhs and ahhs and a maybe few Viking lady groupies.  The I can say something sexy like "Let me show you my Longship..." 


Here is My Longship


Tadaa!


Bow

Stern



Whole ship

whole ship another angel





mast



Now for fun, let's put a miniature on the deck so we can get some sense of scale...


Standing in the Bow looking awesome

Stern


Middle



On the whole, I am quite pleased how it turn out, which is why I spammed you with pictures. 



Construction Notes (for those interested):


I used the same Revell Viking ship model that everyone has.  This model is 1:50 and 28mm is close to 1:56 so it near enough in scale to the miniatures to make no big difference.  

I got the model from a nice man on TMP
who basically let me have it for free.  I just paid the postage
and gave a promise that one day I would use it.
Promised fulfilled.





The ship comes in this ugly brown plastic but has everything needed to construct it.
One problem is that the model is designed to sit on a stand so has a keel
which will prevent it from laying flat on the game table.
It had to go.



To cut it down to closer to the waterline, I first glued to two halves of the hull together.
 Then I used a dremel with a cutting attachment to slice off the keel.
And a sanding attachment to further wear it down.

I didn't do the best job of it.
The plastic was melting as much as it was cutting off or being sanded away
and I was afraid I would end up destroying it..
  It now lays mostly flat, but wobbles to the right some.
I quit while I was ahead.


The model has an anchor well in the bow of the ship (read: big open space)
that I didn't like; how can someone stand in the bow and look awesome with no deck?
I constructed some deck planks over the anchor well with card from a cereal box.




Making the furled sail was a bit of challenge and I tried a couple ways.
The successful method was taking some toilet paper and soaking it in watered down glue,
enough that it became saturated but still held together (ie, not a lot of water/glue),
then folding it over and over on top of itself like layer cake.
Let dry on some wax paper.
Then used scissors to trim it down to the size of the yard. 
It kinda-sorta-almost looks like cloth that was gathered up in folds.



I glued the sail to the yard.
I took some lengths of  'rope' included in the box and coated them with glue
and then wrapped them around the yard and sail.
Looks alright.




Used the 'rope' to tie it to the mast.
I also took lengths of the rope covered with glue and wrapped around the mast
in strategic locations (where I thought rope would be).
I did the same on the Bow and Stern parts.  



I'm pretty sure that Vikings did not climb up the mast and then go out along the yard to loosen the sail like on Napoleonic era ships; but rather had the yard stored down the center of the boat and when it came time, just raised to yard into place.  I originally tried to have the yard and sail stored lengthwise along the ship but I couldn't get it to fit, so up high it went.  



Lastly was putting the decals on the shields, paint the shields some,
and putting the shields on the ship.
The decals are fiddley and didn't always work.
I had no intention of doing every shield that came in the box (64)
but just enough to give a good showing.  



Problems That I have Made Myself


Now that I am the proud owner of a Viking longship, I've come into some BIG problems.

1) I haven't quite figured out how to store the damn thing.

2) One longship does not a Viking fleet make; now I want one or two more.  This has lead to some internet shopping and comparisons.  Any suggestions are welcome before I buy something.  

3) The biggest issue is that I currently don't have any suitable river bank / beach terrain for the awesome model to sit on.  This must be solved immediately otherwise my Vikings will continue to be quite lame because there's nowhere to put it on the table.  My Vikings can saaay they have a ship but no one will see it, just like in high school I had a girl friend in Canada.  I'd like something where the ship could appear to be partly on shore and partly in the water; like they just pulled up to do some raiding.  

I freely admit that these aren't really-real problems.  


Now More Sporadic in Nature


I want to give a notice to those who are silly enough to waste their time by reading this blog regularly that updates will likely become more sporadic in the near future.  I have too many real world concerns that are coming to head and will require time and effort.  The biggest of which is I have to get serious about moving; unless I want son #3 (now 4 months old) to share my room forever.  

Till Next time.

37 comments:

  1. Really nice job, at the start of the post, I just assumed it was a resin boat, so really surprised to see that it was a Revell plastic kit- your additional crafting touches have elevated it to another level.

    On the UK show circuit, the past couple of years have seen Viking raider scenarios with the longboats in them and they just visually make the game.

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    1. Thanks very much Norm. I agree that a ship on the board can be something special. 😀

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  2. Well, color me impressed. The modification to sit flat (hey, a bit of a cant is probably quite realistic for a partially grounded craft), and the fabrication of the sail is very nice. Well done! I have a small 28mm pirate craft--your post reminds me of how much space it takes up in storage. Good luck with the move: we'll be here!

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    1. Thanks very much Ed. I’m always impressed by your conversions of figures. I figure I’ll solve the storage when I get another one. 😀

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  3. You did a lovely job here! I built one of these and another by SMER (a Polish company) the SMER kit has rowers at the oars but also has a deck above the rowers which doesn't jive with the little I know of Viking ships. They CAN be had rather cheaply https://www.ebay.com/itm/283917807349?hash=item421ad1eef5:g:Pa0AAOSw5B9e6lZh and don't look bad at all

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    1. Wrong one, that it the one I used with my 15mm Vikings, SMER also does one in 1/60th scale https://www.ebay.com/itm/372557231184?hash=item56be243450:g:x6QAAOSw6X1cL1Oa

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    2. Thanks very much Anton. That’s a nice idea. I’ll consider it. Currently I’m looking at the 25mm resin ship from OG. 😀

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  4. This is an impressive longship, Stew. Good luck on the house hunting. Real estate is going crazy in my part of the world. Great time to sell. Not so great to be buying.

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    1. Thanks Jonathan. I think my plan is first to sell our current house and move into an apartment and take our time looking for the next. 😀

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  5. Beautiful ship Stew, shiedls add a lot, sails and wood colors are perfect!

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  6. I don't know that "let me show you my longship" is a sexy thing to say, but that longship does look pretty damn good.

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    1. Thanks a lot Markus. It’s all in the way you say it. 😀

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  7. Nice boat! I've thought about this kit but then decided to make one out of foam and cardboard sometime, see, I know how to save money/ never get around to doing anything!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain. It’s a nice kit overall but cutting it down was kinda tricky/pain. It hit be more trouble to make one from scratch. 😀

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  8. I wonder if a hot knife might make cutting that thing down any easier? Hrm...

    Anyhoo, it's a really cool looking boat mate. And the addition of another one or two to a table in a raiding scenario? Even cooler!

    I will say one thing though, I'm surprised at the lack of rigging.... I mean - your tall ships are festooned with the bloody stuff and they are small(!), but this is large and has so much more scope for rigging yet you went "rigging lite"? :P

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    1. O and good luck on the move! Were I not so far away I would gladly offer my skills at moving large pieces of furniture and boxes. Alas...

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    2. Thanks my friend! Yeah, I did go light on the rigging; mainly because I wasn’t sure where to put more! Plus, my normal methyof stiffening the rope with glue wasn’t working exactly as I was hoping (they got kinda droopy) and I started to get tempted to start tying knots which seemed hard so I quit. 😀
      I could always add more later if inclined.

      No worries about helping move; not even close yet and when the time comes I’ll pay someone. 😀

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  9. Absolutely brilliant Stew! Really looks great and the home made sail, amazing 😀

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    1. Thanks a lot Ivor. I dunno about ‘amazing’ but all in all it came together alright. 😀

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  10. You have done a nice job on the longship Stew. I made about six or eight from scratch, using plans from a Wargames Illustrated mag a few years ago. Since then, I think they have been on a table twice...the rest of the time, they are gathering dust and cobwebs in a large cardboard box on top of a cupboard in my garage!

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    1. Thanks Kieth! Such is the fate of all miniatures: we lavish all this care and attention on them , use them a few times, and into the garage. Though these types of specialized pieces probably have less actual use. I’d like to see your ships. 😀

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    2. Hey Stew...I don't know how to copy a hyperlink to this reply...so go look at my blog on 28 Jan 2019 for the longships!

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  11. Hey, what a great ship. I got one a long time ago for a similar purpose, but mine still lingers in the box (which at least has the advantage of being easier to store!)

    I can see a lot of uses for this, starting/end point for missions, reinforcement spawn point. fighting the next one you make...

    Good luck with moving, this area is nuts right now. (you know, those Bay area transplants driving up prices ;) )

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    1. Thanks Laz! Those damn bay are transplants ruin everything. 😀

      But yes, I think the ship will add some real visual appeal to a game table despite the only thing it will do is sit there and look pretty. That’s why ships are referred to as ‘She’ ...😀

      I think I’ll wait till I have the second one to figure out how to store it. For now it’s sitting on the self. 😀

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  12. That is lovely, you’ve done a great job with that and it’s going to look fantastic on the table. A crowd pleaser, for sure!

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    1. Thanks very much TP. I hope I do as good as a job on the shoreline terrain in order to complete the look. 😀

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  13. The Viking ship turned out really nicely and you should definitely get a couple more for the Viking version of Normandy or naval combat. That would be good too! Personally, I'm not so sure the Viking ship (and the storage issues it is creating) is why you have to move but I suppose I will never know the truth ;) While it will be a bummer to see less content from you in the near future, I totally understand and hope you come out the other side with more hobby time!

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    1. Thanks Jeff. Yes it’s true; the real reason I have to move is because I have too much war gaming stuff.
      Nah, it’s because of children. The current house is not set up for 3 living children so need to find a place with more bedrooms on the same floor and other reasons. 😀

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  14. Looking good Stew, here's another possible solution for increasing your raiding party,
    https://sarissa-precision.com/collections/dark-ages-28mm/products/dark-age-longship

    Understand sporadic posting to blogs at the moment, that is the best that can be said for mine currently.

    Good luck with the property hunting / moves, hope all goes as smoothly as these things can.

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    1. Thanks Tony! I’m aware of the Sarissa ship but it appears to me to look a little flimsy but I don’t know if that would really matter.

      I’m hoping that sporadically posting will be better than no posts. 😀

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  15. "get some oohhs and ahhs and a maybe few Viking lady groupies."

    Dear Sir: Your newsletter sounds VERY interesting, and I would like to subscribe.
    Seriously though, that turned out to be a really nice project. Can you use the extra shield decals on your Viking miniatures? Think of how cool that would be; then you could name the figures too! "That one's Hagar, that one's Hrothgar, that one's Sven. . ." and so on.

    Good luck on the move. I've been reading articles on how crazy the real estate market is out there right now. Apparently it is in our area too, with transplants from CA coming to the Houston area. As for the blog, yeah sporadic posting is better than nothing. I speak with some experience in that area. 😁

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    1. Thanks BW. Glad you liked the ship as you are my shipping mentor. I’ll let you know if I get any Viking lady groupies. 😀

      I’m just beginning the packing phase. We have soooo much stuff it’s crazy.

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  16. I think the ship looks great! Of course, when it is on the table you will have to play "Immigrant Song" by Led Zepplin.

    Aye and ack on packing. We've discussed moving occasionally, and the general consensus is that we have too much crap to even try it. We'll just die in place; our advantage is that the kids are all moved out.

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    1. I didn’t think we’d ever have to move again when we moved into our current house. But life plays tricks on a person. 😀

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  17. Excellent work Stew everybody needs a longship. You made a neater job than I. When you find where to store it let me know ! Mine gets moved about and banged all the time several shields have fallen off etc..........

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    1. Thanks Matt. I’ll wait till I get a second one before I seriously think about storage but the ship is an odd shape. They might just end up on a shelf somewhere forever. 😀

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